The belief that overdue fines motivate patrons to return their materials has guided library policy for many years. However, research has shown that those who incur late fees and are able to pay will keep visiting and borrowing while those who are unable to pay simply stop using the library—and in some instances fail to return overdue materials.
Changes to our Overdue Policies
- No more daily fines charged for overdue items.
- Items available for renewal will automatically be renewed. This does not include inter-library loan items that can only be renewed through MeLCat.
- Items that are more than 28 days overdue will be billed for replacement.
- Accounts with bills for non-returned items will be blocked until the items are returned or replacement charges are paid.
- Replacement charges will be removed if overdue items are returned in good condition.
Overdue Notice Timeline
- Two automatic courtesy renewals (as long as there are no holds on the item and the item is available for renewal) (email & text only)
- Notification of non-renewal; Recall notice 2 days before due date (email & text only)
- 1st Overdue notice sent 7 days after an item is overdue (email, text, or print)
- 2nd Overdue notice 14 days after due date (email, text, or print)
- 3rd Overdue notice 21 days after due date (email, text, or print)
- Account is blocked when items are 28 days overdue
- Materials are Assumed Lost /Billing notice is sent 28 days after due date (email, text & print)
What Happens if I get Blocked?
- Materials are assumed lost and you will be billed for replacement.
- You will not be able to check out any physical materials from the library or through MeLCat.
- Electronic services and collections will remain accessible to patron accounts that have not expired.
- Your account may be sent to a private notification service if your balance is $25 or more and the billed items are not returned in good condition or paid for within 28 days after being billed.
- All accounts that are sent to the notification service, will be charged an additional service fee.
How to Unblock Your Account?
- Return your materials in good condition and replacement bills will automatically be removed as they are checked in.
- Pay for the cost of any lost, damaged, incomplete or non-returned materials. Refunds are not available once you pay for an item, even if that item is returned.
- Speak with our staff at the Checkout Desk about reinstating your account after the items are returned or the replacement fees are paid.